Sabah’s MICE generates RM5 million from hosting two groups from China

Chairman of Sri Pelancongan Sabah, Ken Pan Ying On, estimated more than RM5 million in revenue was generated for the Sabah’s tourism industry recently by just two groups of tourists from China, including one MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference, and Exhibition) group.

During their two-week stay, which included a packed holiday programme and a company annual gala, these tourists contributed to the income of tourism stakeholders in Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang, Tuaran, and Semporna.

“This marks a promising start for Sabah’s tourism industry in 2024. MICE groups typically have high spending power, which in turn boosts the local economy.

“The improved air connectivity with more direct flights from major Chinese cities to Kota Kinabalu, allowing tourists to explore various types of travel experiences including leisure tourism, sightseeing tours, cultural tourism, diving, mountain climbing, forest adventures, and underwater world explorations, all contributing to expenditure within Sabah,” Pan stated.

Pan detailed that from late February to early March, Guangzhou HuanYa Holidays and Sabah Perfect Holidays jointly organised a trip for 182 tourists from Wuhan involved in the beauty industry.

“During their visit, they enjoyed Sabah’s rich marine resources, pristine blue skies, vast underwater world, luxurious seaside resorts, and fresh seafood,” he added.

In addition, a second group of 450 tourists from the IT industry in Beijing visited Sabah in four batches. This trip organised by Beijing Mafengwo and co-hosted by Guangzhou HuanYa Holidays, Sabah Happy Holidays, and Kuala Lumpur New Morning Travel, included a six-night stay at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa.

“The tourists participated in thrilling water sports, sunset yacht tours, ecotourism in mangrove forests, and experienced the natural beauty of Mount Kinabalu, among other activities,” he said.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew, highlighted Sabah’s growing prominence as a preferred MICE destination.

“With the gradual recovery of the Chinese tourism market, the Ministry, through the Sabah Tourism Board (STB), will actively promote the development of the state’s tourism industry while also increasing support for high-end tourism businesses.

“Now that we have established the Sabah Convention Bureau, we expect more MICE groups from China and other countries to visit Sabah this year,” she emphasized.

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